2nd Lady rallies support for voluntary blood donation

Mrs. Samira Bawumia,Second Lady addressing the garthering

Mrs. Samira Bawumia,Second Lady addressing the garthering

The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has called on the citizenry to actively donate blood voluntarily to save lives.

“Ghanaians must consider blood donation as a civic responsibility,” she said at the launch of the 2019 Annual Voluntary Blood Donation in Accra, which coincided with the 18th National Blood Donor Day.

The day was to publicly acknowledge and appreciate voluntary unpaid blood donors and other stakeholders who have shown commitment to saving the lives of patients requiring blood transfusion therapy across the country.

It also provided the platform for increasing awareness about achieving the national supplies based entirely on voluntary unpaid blood donation and emphasised the need for timely access to safe blood and blood products at all times.

The Second Lady observed that for the nation to achieve sufficiency in blood stock, there was an urgent need for more voluntary donations to adequately stock the blood banks for the benefit of the citizenry.

According to her Ghana required a minimum of 280,000 units of blood annually, but the stock level falls far below that target, prompting the campaign in the recent years to promote donations.

“The country’s blood supply still falls short of the minimum requirement,” she said, adding that it was regrettable that people waited until their relatives were hospitalised before they donated blood to replace the blood given to those relatives.

“This culture cannot sustain our blood bank urging people to donate voluntarily so that Ghana could achieve the 100 per cent voluntary donation target for 2020 set by the World Health Organisation.

She commended voluntary blood donors for their contribution towards the sustainability of the blood bank, but indicated that the responsibility of timely availability of blood could not be left on the few voluntary donors in the country.

She also lauded the National Board Service (NBS), Ghana and its partner organisations for their contribution in promoting the campaign for blood donations, and assured them of government’s support in that endeavour.

The celebration, which was used to appreciate multiple donors and stakeholders, had the theme, ‘Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.’

As part of the celebration, held with the assistance of the Rotary Clubs of Accra and Accra Ridge, best national and regional donors were honoured with awards.

Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, Deputy Minister of Health, for his part, said statistics from the World Health Organisation indicated that an estimated 830,000 women die annually worldwide from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

These deaths she said could have been prevented if we had more volunteers to join the heroes we are celebrating today to donate blood at least three times a year.

Dr. Justina Kordai Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of the NBS Ghana, thanked all the voluntary unpaid blood donors for their gift of blood which has saved many lives over the years.

She explained that the nation’s annual minimum blood supply requirement of 280,000 units could be achieved if one per cent of the Ghanaian population voluntarily donated once a year.

Currently, she noted that voluntary blood donations accounted for only 36 per cent of the total annual donations, 160,000 units of blood.

“While family replacement blood donations continue to be used as a stop gap due to the shortfall in the supply from voluntary donations, this system does not ensure adequacy, safety and timeliness of blood supply,” she stated.

She appealed to every healthy person in Ghana between the ages of 17-60 years to make it a point to donate blood at least twice a year.

By Benedicta Gyimaah Folley

 

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